French rugby giant Raphael Ibanez has labelled the Wasps captaincy as one of his biggest career challenges.
Ibanez will take over the leadership reins from Lawrence Dallaglio, who retired in May after Wasps beat Leicester to be crowned Guinness Premiership champions.
Ibanez, who won 98 caps and guided France to the 1999 World Cup final, said: "The Wasps captaincy is probably one of the biggest challenges of my career so far.
"This season coming is pretty special for Wasps as the Guinness Premiership champions. We will want to keep hold of our silverware and pick up even more honours.
"We have a fantastic squad filled with lots of young and exciting talent, and I am very proud to lead this group of players.
"2008-09 will also be a very special year for our international players, competing for places for the Lions tour of South Africa, which is a goal many of my team-mates can reach.
"My priority will be to make sure everyone delivers for the club first. I want us to keep winning, and as the captain it is my job to ensure we stay focused."
Ibanez also paid tribute to Dallaglio, adding: "When (Wasps rugby director) Ian McGeechan spoke to me about the captaincy, my first thought went to Lawrence Dallaglio.
"He's a great leader and an absolute legend of this game. Nobody will ever replace him - ever - and for me it has been a great honour to play both alongside him at Wasps and against him in the international arena.
"It is with his support that I take this role. He is a great friend, and he will continue to be even though he will no longer be at the club."